Wrong-way driver faces judge after fatal crash involving taxi driver

SAN DIEGO - A woman accused of second-degree murder after going the wrong way down Interstate 5 and crashing into a San Diego taxi driver appeared in court Tuesday.

It is the second time Amy St. John has been arrested on suspicion of DUI over the last two years.

Police say St. John's rental car first hit Anteneh Minassie's cab and then left the scene. When Minassie stepped out of his cab, he was hit and killed by another driver who also left the area. That driver has not been caught.

"Although my client caused the initial accident, there was some lapse of time between when another driver hit him and killed him and then that person fled the scene," said St. John's attorney, Cole Casey.

Deputy district attorney Danielle Hickman said, "Her actions are what set in motion the chain of events and that's why she's charged in the case."

When St. John left the scene, she drove to a downtown hotel where she stayed. Five hours after the crash, investigators tracked her down and say she had a blood alcohol level of .18, which is more than twice the legal limit. Prosecutors say St. John had been drinking all day including on the flight from Phoenix, where she lives.

Because this is St. John's second DUI, Casey thought she would be re-arrested, as her charges were upgraded from vehicular manslaughter to second-degree murder.

He argued she was a reliable person, has plans to check into a residential treatment program and wear an ankle monitor that will alert authorities if she starts drinking.

The judge granted her to stay out of jail based on her previous $100,000 bond.

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